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At a glance: Yemen

Yemen conflict: A devastating toll for children

© UNICEF Yemen Video
Since the conflict escalated in March 2015, UNICEF has increased its response and provided lifesaving supplies and services across the country including in some of the most hard to reach areas.


The conflict in Yemen has taken a devastating toll, particularly on the most vulnerable members of society: children.

Even before the outbreak of conflict in March 2015, Yemen faced challenges from widespread poverty, food insecurity and lack of health services. But now, with more than 3.2 million people displaced, food and fuel imports cut short and livelihoods destroyed, more than four in five Yemenis are in need of some kind of humanitarian assistance.

During the first year of the conflict, more than 900 children were killed, constituting one third of all civilian deaths. Thousands more are wasting away because of deprivations caused by the conflict. UNICEF estimates that 370,000 children in Yemen face severe malnutrition, while 2.2 million children need urgent humanitarian assistance to prevent a further deterioration in their nutritional status. Even after the conflict ends, the effects of malnutrition – stunted growth and delayed cognitive development – may linger. In the worst cases, it is fatal.

The number of out-of-school children – already high before the conflict – has ballooned to 2 million as more than 350,000 additional children have been unable to attend school because of closures. Education for these children cannot wait.

The country’s water and sanitation infrastructure has also been ravaged, posing serious health risks. Restrictions on the importation of fuel have disrupted the delivery of water to millions of people in one of the most water-scarce countries on Earth. Fuel shortages have also curtailed access to health care, as hospitals are unable to power the generators they need to function.

On 6 October 2016, health authorities in Yemen confirmed a cholera outbreak, posing an increased health risk to the population – especially children – given the crumbling health system in the country.

UNICEF is working hard to alleviate the effects of the conflict on children and families by delivering lifesaving services and supplies, including health, nutrition and vaccination services for mothers, newborns and children; preparing for potential disease outbreaks; expanding treatment services for children with malnutrition; and supporting displaced families through provision of safe water and hygiene facilities.

UNICEF and its partners urgently need to secure funding. Yemen’s needs are great; to provide the most basic health, education and protection services in 2016, UNICEF requires US$180 million.

>> Learn more about the situation for children in Yemen.


Watch: Videos from UNICEF Yemen

Combating malnutrition in Yemen

A day in the life of one Muhamasheen boy

>>  See more videos from UNICEF Yemen


Meet: Children and families affected by the crisis

the midwife of Mukalla

a grieving mother

a child fighting cholera

>>  Read more stories and perspectives from Yemen


Read: The latest press releases and statements


News note: UNICEF calls for safety of schools in Yemen as the new school year opens

News note: Mobile health teams help save children’s lives in Yemen


Statement: UNICEF Statement on the killings of children in Sa’ada




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Voices from UNICEF Yemen staff

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